Michael Mower is the executive director and chief flight instructor for Southern Utah University's aviation program. Mower brings his years of service in the United States Air Force to the classroom, enriching discussions and interactions with current students.
During his time in the Air Force, Mower worked in the fuels and cryogenics lab and was the lead instructor for the Honor Guard detachment at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. After leaving the Air Force, Mower started a research and development company specializing in advanced metals and cutting edge heat-treating protocols. Through this research, Mower has authored or co-authored multiple patents.
In 2013, Mower started SUU’s aviation program with a small staff and 30 students. Under his leadership, the program has more than tripled in size with 75 instructors and 285 students. He has a skilled and diverse team that is able to offer instruction on aircraft safety, maintenance, fixed wing and rotor wing. With the recent growth, the aviation program has made Cedar City Regional Airport the second busiest airport in the state of Utah. The Iron County Sheriff’s Air Operation Division heavily relies on SUU’s pilots and instructors to assist in aerial surveillance, pursuit, drug interdiction, and search and rescue efforts. This service is provide free of charge to the citizens of Iron County and the surrounding municipalities.
As a veteran, Mower understands the needs of his student veterans and advocates on their behalf. As an active lobbyist for veterans rights in Washington D.C., Mower understand the value in developing mutually beneficial relationships with key representatives and senators. Mower earned his commercial pilot’s license in 2012 and his flight instructor license in 2014.
Industry Expertise (5)
Areas of Expertise (6)
Professional Provider of the Year
Southern Utah University
Airman of the Year
United States Air Force
Honor Guard Member of the Year
United States Air Force
FAA: Commercial License
FAA: Flight Instructor License
- Iron County Sheriff's Air Operations Division
Media Appearances (11)
Episode 29: SUU Aviation - Meeting the Needs of Students and Industry with Mike Mower
Solutions for Higher Education online
Southern Utah University President Scott L Wyatt and Steve Meredith talk with Mike Mower, the Executive Director and Chief Flight Instructor in SUU's Aviation Program.
New SUU Partnership Promotes Women Pilots
The Spectrum online
I Hart Flying and Southern Utah University held a press conference announcing a partnership designed to encourage women to be pilots.
Southern Utah University's Aviation Program Has Students Job-Ready With State of The Art Planes
There are now 10 of these airplanes at the Salt Lake City International Airport, and if you fly down south just a few hundred miles, a new fleet of Cirrus aircrafts has landed at Southern Utah University.
Mike Mower is the Executive Director and Chief Instructor of Southern Utah University's aviation program. He says, “We are the only collegiate program that has these brand new SR-20s,” Mower adds, "Flying these at our altitude, it is a smooth flight, it's also one of the safest aircraft out there.”
Southern Utah University Student Aviators Take to the Skies When Calls for Help go Out
St. George News online
Southern Utah University’s aviation program is setting the benchmark for aerial support assistance programs across the country as students take to the skies sporting night-vision technology when calls go out for help.
SUU Aviation Working to Change FAA Curriculum
Experts from Southern Utah University's Flight Training Program are headed to Washington hoping to change outdated ways aviation students are taught.
Utah Flight Programs Increase Fleets, Partner with Airlines to Meet 'Insatiable' Demand for Pilots
Economic Development Corporation of Utah online
Bracing for a potential surge of aviation students, Southern Utah University this year spent about $3.8 million on 10 new Cirrus airplanes.
The investments are examples of how Utah universities are responding to the growing demand for pilot training — a positive trend in an industry that anticipates needing 617,000 commercial airline pilots by 2035, according to worldwide aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing.
"This is a very exciting time; airplane pilot demand is insatiable," said Mike Mower, executive director of SUU's aviation program.
Aviation Program Expands at Southern Utah University
AV Web online
Southern Utah University is advancing its aviation program with the purchase of ten new planes from Cirrus Aircraft expected to begin arriving in June. The fleet of Thunderbird-red, fixed-wing planes features the Cirrus SR20 - a technologically advanced, easy-to-fly modern training platform that will prepare both flight instructors and students to fly tomorrow's commercial airliners, military and general aviation aircraft.
"Globally, the aviation industry is expanding rapidly and the demand for qualified pilots is high," said SUU President Scott L Wyatt. "The addition of the Cirrus aircraft will elevate our program by offering the most advanced and safest training available in the world."
Eyes in the Air
Southern Utah University online
From 30 to 170 students in just three years, the Southern Utah University Aviation program has grown into a well-established entity in southern Utah. While the 80+ employees staffed in the program work to teach, maintain aircraft and execute day-to-day operations, there are further-reaching benefits to the SUU Aviation in addition to the instruction of future pilots.
During the summer of 2016, SUU’s eyes in the air identified upward of five different potential wildfires burning in the early stages at various locations around Utah. The fires, which were roughly an acre wide, were quickly reported and crises averted.
“From the air, smoke in unexpected places are noticeable red flags,” said Mike Mower, SUU Aviation chief flight instructor and pilot of 10+ years. “We fly over to check it out, confirm the fire and then report to the Forest Service before anything major happens.”
SUU Aviation partners with SkyWest Airlines
The Spectrum online
Southern Utah University’s flight program has received a “premier” endorsement from one of North America’s leading air service providers. SUU’s partnership with SkyWest Airlines, a subsidiary of St. George-based SkyWest, Inc., will also offer qualifying student pilots support through a program that features a tuition reimbursement program.
“The agreement cements SUU as a premier flight training school and helps us expand our program,” said Mike Mower, executive director at SUU Aviation.
SUU Partners With Skywest Airlines Gives Flight To Student Careers
Good 4 Utah online
The aviation careers of Southern Utah University students are taking off in a big way with a new partnership just announced with Skywest Airlines.
"Some of the things that make us unique is our altitude. We are at 5,600 feet right here and by the time you throw in a hot summer day, the aircraft thinks you're operating at a much higher altitude," Executive Director of SUU Aviation Michael Mower said, while showing off one of the university's planes.
Pilots Deputized to Aid Iron County Sheriff’s Office
Southern Utah University online
On March 23 pilots from Upper Limit Aviation (ULA) partnered with Southern Utah University and were sworn in as deputies at the Iron County Sheriff’s Office.
“We’ve been volunteering for the Iron County Sheriff’s department and Cedar City Police Department since we’ve been here,” said Mike Mower, chief flight instructor for SUU aviation. “By being deputized, it gives us additional flexibility that we didn’t have before.”
The 13 new deputies as well as the use of up to 35 aircrafts all comes as no cost to the tax payer, according to Mower, as the pilots’ time has been donated in the past and will continue to be donated going forward.
PILT 1010 Air Transportation
This course will trace the evolution of the aviation industry from its earliest days through the modern age. Topics addressed include significant aviation events and individuals, aircraft development, deregulation, administrative bodies, organizations and commercial companies that have influenced and/or continue to shape the domestic and international aviation industry.
PILT 1040 Aviation Orientation
This course will orient students to the SUU Professional Pilot Program and career opportunities in the broader aviation industry. The course will cover, among other topics, financial aid, transfer & articulation, pilot training regulations and procedures, key aviation organization such as the FAA and Air Traffic Control, career opportunities in general, commercial and military aviation.
PILT 1420 Aircraft Systems
This course provides a study of the design, construction and theory of operation of basic systems common to fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. Topics covered Include power plant, flight control, fuel, hydraulic, lubrication, airframe, landing gear, instrumentation and electrical systems.
PILT 2050 Aviation Meteorology
A study of atmospheric conditions and their related effects on aeronautical operations. Topics covered include basic meteorological principles/physics, atmospheric properties, weather developmental patterns and associated aviation hazards including thunderstorms, wind shear, turbulence, icing and low visibility, weather observation and forecasting resources, understanding weather information.
PILT 2250 Aerodynamics
Practical application of the laws of physics in the design and operation of aircraft. Specific topics covered include basic forces of flight, airplane and helicopter principles of operation, weight and balance, stability and control, high speed flight and aircraft design and testing.
PILT 2310 Human Factors and Safety
This course examines pilot performance as a function of physiological, psychological and environmental factors. Specific topics addressed include human physiology, training programs, stress, fatigue, spatial disorientation, visual illusions, cockpit resource management, decision making and cockpit design.
PILT 2445 RW Mountain Operations Lab
Students will learn proper techniques for safe mountain flying operations. This course includes practical application under the direction of an experienced mountain pilot.
PILT 2455 External Load RW Lab
Students will learn proper techniques for safe procedures in specialized areas of rotorcraft operations. This course includes practical applications with external loads under the direction of an experienced utility pilot.